Gymbox CEO, Marc Diaper, calls on government to give financial support to city centre gyms due to home-working guidelines
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
star job
Water Babies
£28,000 - £30,000pa + excellent benefits
Exeter, Devon. Hybrid Working
Energie Fitness
Winchester, Hants.
star job
Wycombe Abbey School
£22,000 - £24,000
High Wycombe, Bucks
Wimbledon College
£23.50 ph + holiday pay
Wimbledon, London
star job
Mount Kelly Swim Centre
£9.90ph / £19,305 FTE
Tavistock, Devon

Gymbox CEO, Marc Diaper, calls on government to give financial support to city centre gyms due to home-working guidelines

The government's working from home guidelines are threatening the financial future of city centre health clubs
It is feared that "Plan B" will have an adverse impact on what is traditionally the fitness sector’s busiest and most lucrative time of the year
Clubs located in town and city centres will be particularly badly affected, as they rely on commuters for business
Speaking to HCM, Gymbox CEO Marc Diaper said footfall was already "down by 10 per cent"
Job opportunities
Leicester City Council
£22,183 - £24,491 + pension + benefits
location: Spence Street Sports Centre, Leicester, United Kingdom
Carn Brea Leisure Centre
£35,000 - £45,000 pa
location: Carn Brea Leisure Centre, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Adventure Experience
£30,000 - £40,000pa
location: Barnet and Harrow, London, United Kingdom
more jobs

The UK government's working from home guidelines are threatening the financial future of city centre health clubs and gyms, according to some operators.

Under the government's Plan B, people should now work from home "if they can" – with guidance being reviewed on 5 January, although this is not mandatory.

The timing means new year trading, which gives a boost to the sector, may be impacted.

Speaking to HCM, Marc Diaper, CEO of Gymbox – which runs 11 London studios – said the sector has already seen a drop in footfall and is in need of "urgent financial help" to counter the damage caused by the work from home advisory.

"The latest government guidance will see footfall reduced within the City," Diaper said.

"This has already had an impact on usage, with some businesses and offices that had returned sending their workers back to full-time home working.

"Since reopening in mid-April, we’ve experienced month-on-month improvements in the number of people using our gyms – we had hit 70 per cent of pre-pandemic usage across the group.

"However, since the government's announcement last week, footfall has dropped by 10 per cent – and we’re expecting it to drop even more, as businesses digest the information.

"It's not just London, of course – many businesses that rely on footfall in other cities around the country will suffer.

"While I appreciate the pandemic is difficult for the government to navigate and it wants to slow the spread of the virus, the recommendation to work from home has to come with additional financial packages of support, or I can see even more gym closures with the loss of jobs across the sector."

Diaper added that operators with strong ties to corporate clients and members will also be severely affected.

"While residential clubs in London were returning to pre-COVID-19 numbers much quicker, the city clubs were already being hugely impacted by corporate clients who have either never returned to the office, or those that have only returned a couple of days a week," Diaper said.

"Over the past 19 months, while some had gradually returned, many of our corporate clients have continually delayed the return to the office, as they feared further restrictions or lockdowns may occur."

Diaper also detailed the type of financial help he would like to see the sector receive.

"While I appreciate moving forward businesses will need to look at their property location strategies and adapt to office workers' potential new patterns of working, this doesn’t solve the issue for thousands of businesses right now. The government has created a problem with its new guidance and there needs to be a financial support package put in place.

"This could include a review of VAT – much like the hospitality sector received – an extension of business rates relief and additional grants.

"Though we have agreed on rent concessions with landlords, many businesses haven’t and this needs to be resolved with the moratorium coming to an end in the New Year.

"We’re approaching a crucial time for our sector. We were closed for the whole of Q1 this year and these restrictions will mean a very challenging start to 2022.

"We’ve all worked hard and spent millions on safety and cleanliness protocols and we’ve proved we’re safe with less than 1 case per 100,000 users.

"We’re essential for many members – for both their physical and mental health – and those that are city-based have just had their businesses majorly affected.

"The government has effectively taken business away with no solution for support and this needs addressing urgently."

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
The UK government's working from home guidelines are threatening the financial future of city centre health clubs and gyms, according to some operators.

More News

1 - 15 of 43,565
21 Jan 2022
People with early-stage Parkinson’s should do regular exercise to slow down the progression of the disease. The finding comes from a six-year study that followed ... More
20 Jan 2022
Hybrid fitness platform FitLab has closed its Series A financing, bringing total capital raised to more than US$15m. FitLab will use the funding to scale ... More
19 Jan 2022
Boutique chain Trib3 will become one of the first fitness operators to establish a presence in the metaverse, making its workouts available in The Sandbox. ... More
19 Jan 2022
At-home fitness brand NordicTrack from iFIT has launched what it says are the first voice-controlled, adjustable dumbbells to work with Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa. The ... More
18 Jan 2022
The Workforce State of Mind Survey, now in its second year, has begun to gather data to gain insights into how the mental health of ... More
18 Jan 2022
Wellness operator and fit tech company, LIT Method, (low-intensity training) is ramping up expansion after launching into the franchising market. The company's hybrid business model ... More
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
17 Jan 2022
Planet Fitness has signed an agreement to acquire Sunshine Fitness – an operator of 114 Planet Fitness fitness clubs in the US – in a ... More
14 Jan 2022
People living in London have been advised to avoid or reduce strenuous exercise today (Friday 14 January) – especially outdoors – due to exceptionally high ... More
14 Jan 2022
A marketing partnership between fitness marketplace Hussle and fast-food giant McDonald's resulted in a significant increase in the number of people looking at gyms via ... More
12 Jan 2022
The UK government should encourage – and make it easier – for doctors and other health and care professionals to refer people to fitness facilities ... More
12 Jan 2022
Mark Sesnan, co-founder and CEO of GLL, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List 2022. Sesnan founded the social enterprise in ... More
11 Jan 2022
4 Global – a partner in the Moving Communities initiative – has completed an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market, ... More
Les Mills
Les Mills
10 Jan 2022
Myzone has secured a US$17.2m worth of investment from growth capital investor BGF – a move that values the brand at US$102m. The deal is ... More
10 Jan 2022
The Cleveland Clinic’s chief wellness officer Michael Roizen predicts longevity will become the next major disruptor, according to his recent interview with Spa Business. “There ... More
06 Jan 2022
Physically active people are 50 per cent more likely to develop higher levels of antibodies after receiving a vaccine, when compared to those who are ... More
Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
1 - 15 of 43,565
JP Lennard
JP Lennard